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Iguacu: high-tech, low temperature process for spray-dried coffee.

It's been over a year now since Cia. Iguacu de Cafe Soluvel inaugurated Spray Dry Tower No 111 at their factory site in Cornelio Procopio, Parana, Brazil. The inauguration actually took place in April of 1991 and culminated years of research and investment in pioneering project for the production of a high quality instant coffee product.

The company was formed in 1967 by a group of coffee planters in the Cornelio Procopio region who realized the potential of industrializing their farming activities. The importation of necessary equipment and construction of plant facilities took some time, and their first production went "on stream" in 1971. In 1972, Marubeni Corp., became associated with Cia. Iguacu which brought capital and technical knowledge and helped consolidate the firm's position in international markets. In 1973, a second roaster and spray-drying tower was installed, bringing production capacity to over 200,000 bags of green coffee equivalent per year. At present, Cia. Iguacu has a production capacity of 500,000 bags of green coffee equivalent per year. Later in 1986, the Iguacu group formed a joint venture with Coca-Cola and created Macsol S.A. established in Campinas, Sao Paulo for operations as manufacturers of freeze dried soluble coffee.

Through the years, Cia. Iguacu invested time and capital in researching advanced coffee processing technology. In 1986, this resulted in what the firm call their FBI process (Fresh Brew Iguacu). This is a dual extraction system in percolation process which enables to preserve all the aroma components of fresh coffee, with combination of freeze concentration process supplied by Grenco of Holland. In this Grenco freeze concentration process, the water to be removed from the extract, instead of being evaporated, is frozen at -5C[degrees](23 F[degrees]) to form ice crystals which are then separated from the product. This allows a complete and integral preservation of all aroma components without any thermal or chemical degradation of the quality.

Finally, in a later stage of investment and research and working jointly with Japanese interests in the latest technological advances in the processing of spray dried products, a new concept was designed for coffee processing. In conventional spray drying, the coffee extract is dried in air heated to temperatures of around 250 C[degrees] with air leaving the dryer at about 110 C[degrees]. The new process permits production with hot air entering the tower at temperatures as low as 130 C[degrees] and air leaving at only 80 C[degrees]. This high-tech design is not only energy-efficient, yielding a commercially competitive product but also transforms the extract into a powder which fully retains the taste of the original "liquid coffee."

With this new project, combined with Fresh Brew Iguacu, the company can supply the so-called dry extract, spray-dry powder containing fully the character of high quality coffee extract flavor and aroma.

There are other features besides lower temperatures in the new process designed to maximize product quality and aroma factors. For instance, the walls of the tower are treated with special material which, combined with the air-flow configuration, prevents the adherence of particles which could cause overheating and loss of aroma. The final cooling process for the powder is also designed for a fast and efficient effect preserving to a maximum the fresh coffee qualities. In addition, the extract enters the tower through a special single nozzle device which produces a more homogeneous particle size distribution.

The new low temperature spray-drying tower is something of a special event in the instant coffee world. Consequently, Cia Iguacu de Cafe Soluvel commemorated the occasion with an extensive program of inauguration ceremonies for Tower No 111. Iguacu director president, Masao Esaka as well as directors of the Iguacu and Marubeni organizations, represented by Iwao Mizusaki, managing director and ceo. of AgroMarine Products, invited coffee buyers from all over the world to attend the ceremonies. Guests included Tony Ayling and David Moulder from Lyons Tetley U.K., W.H.J. Van Pelt of Granco Holland, David Taggart, Coca-Cola U.S.A., Jerry Jarrell, American Instants U.S.A., Jan Bezemer, Folger Coffee U.S.A., Dr. Wolfgang Suwelack and Dorothee Kunke, Suwelack Germany, Yasukuni Kobayashi, president of Marubeni Foods Corp. and Akira Ohno, president of Morinaga Milk Industry, Japan who collaborated in the development of the project. Also present were representatives of the Banco do Tokyo and Banco America do Sul who participated in the financing of the project. In addition, top executives of the Iguacu and Marubeni organizations in Brazil and abroad were present to assist in the receiving and orientation of the guests.

The program festivities began with cocktails and dinner on the evening of April 9th held at the traditional Japanese Suntory Restaurant in Sao Paulo. Next morning, the guests were taken by private bus to Cogonhas Airport to board a chartered flight to Londrina, Parana. From Londrina, they were taken by bus to the plant site at Cornelio Procopio a distance of 60 km. During this trip a bilingual guide equipped with a video-clip explained points of interest of the States of Parana, Londrina and Cornelio Procopio the evolution of coffee cultivation in the region.

At the plant site, an introductory explanation of the new spray-drying process was given by the industrial director, Dr. Antonio Severo de Castro. Afterwards, the official inauguration ceremonies took place, including the official ribbon-cutting by St. Rsaka of Cia. Iguacu and Sr. Ohno of Morinaga Milk Industry, along with the religious blessings of the local Church Authority. Guests then visited the new tower facilities with speeches presented by A. Ayling of Lyons Tetley U.K. and John Jeffery of Marubeni U.K., who also served as master of ceremonies, at all events of the occasion. After coffee, guests were returned by bus and chartered plane back to Sao Paulo. In the evening, a closing banquet was offered for friends and guests at the Cesar Park Hotel in Sao Paulo.

The inauguration ceremonies of Iguacu Hi-Tech Spray-Drier Tower No. 111 officialized the "on stream" production of a new powder product of high taste and aroma qualities, initiating a new era in instant coffee processing.
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Title Annotation:improved process for preparation of instant coffee developed by Cia. Iguacu de Cafe Soluvel
Author:Jones, Harry C.
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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